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Viola Davis on the power of black women in The Woman King
Photo: © ANP

Viola Davis on the power of black women in The Woman King

Viola Davis on the power of black women in The Woman King
Photo: © ANP

Viola Davis hopes that The Woman King will "redefine" how people view black women.

The Woman King, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, tells the story the Dahomey Amazons, a group of fierce female warriors in historical Africa in the 1800s.

The official plot synopsis reads:

'General Nanisca of the Dahomey Amazons and Nawi, an ambitious recruit. It depicts how they 'fought enemies who violated their honour, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they have lived for'.

Naturally, the movie's presence of strong, powerful black women is extremely important to Davis, who wants to highlight the plight of a marginalised section of society.

“This movie is my response to that,” Davis told Empire.

“This movie is not even my respectful response to that. It is an illustration of the insurmountable beauty, strength, vulnerability, femininity, and absolute power of the dark-skinned Black woman.

"It’s our way of redefining who we are. And I believe from the first moment you enter this movie, you will see that in a very beautiful way.”

Davis describes how her character, General Nanisca, is in charge of a young group of women and how she must train them to let go of their "vulnerabilities" to fight for the greater good.

“I think it’s very hard to train a group of young women to suck up their vulnerability in order to fight,” she explained.

“To dig deep and find that warrior spirit that understands you have to fight for something bigger than yourself – and that it may cost you your life. That was difficult for me.”

The Woman King trailer

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